Here are some of the bills that are still under consideration in the energy/climate arena that are being tracked by the Association of Washington Business:
- E2SSB 5802 (Ranker/Governor Request Legislation) initiates a study to provide recommendations for reducing Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions. The bill, as it was introduced, concerned the broad business community because of the way the Council to review GHG emissions was established and how the independent organization would be selected to conduct the study. The Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee amended SSB 5802 to bring balance to the Council and establish a better process to select whom would do the study. The bill also now has provisions to require a minority report and make recommendations back to the Legislature for action. Essentially SSB 5802 is a study bill that requires a broad look at policies already adopted in Washington, as well as a review of the cost effectiveness of other GHG emission reduction strategies. The amendments made by the Senate Committee addressed many of the concerns raised by AWB in public testimony, but we will continue monitor the bills progress as it now moves through the House.
- ESB 5603 (Hatfield) establishes the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council within the Governor’s office to serve as a forum, as well as provide recommendations, to deal with issues of marine management. In addition, the bill was amended on the Senate floor, adding provisions related to the establishment of an advisory committee to work on Ocean Acidification. The advisory committee may only advise the University of Washington related to the ongoing research to study local impacts of Ocean Acidification, as well as raise public awareness, and work with the shellfish industry on early adaption work. The advisory committee will include members appointed by AWB and the Farm Bureau. ESB 5603 has been referred to the House Environment Committee.
- E2SHB 1301 (Morris) would modify provisions related to the eligibility and function of the cost recovery incentive program for renewable energy, as well as moves the program from the Department of Revenue to the Governor’s office. The bill would also allow for a qualifying utility to receive additional tax incentives, among other things. E2SHB 1301 will be heard March 20th by the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment & Telecommunications at 8:00 AM.
- SB 5297 (Braun) deals with allowing purchasers of coal transition power to adjust load requirements under the Energy Independence Act for the purpose of compliance with renewable energy credit requirements. SB 5297 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment at 10:00 AM on March 21st.
- SSB 5400 (Honeyford) would allow multi-state utilities to use renewable energy from resources that are located in a state in which they serve customers to count toward renewable energy requirements under I-937. The use of these credits only apply if they have an ownership interest or long-term contract with the facility generating the renewable energy. SSB 5400 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment at 10:00 AM on March 21st.
To get additional details on any of the bills visit: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/